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12 Dec 2007 : Column 607Wcontinued
Mr. Vara: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what the average daily food cost was for non-commissioned ranks on non-operational duty in 2006-07. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The average daily cost, known as the daily messing rate (DMR), is based on a basket of nearly 100 basic catering items, and is calculated on a quarterly basis by applying prices obtained from the MODs food supply contractor to the appropriate ration scale. The DMRs for the current period 1 October 2007-31 December 2007 are shown as follows:
(a) Army personnelThe DMR in their home posting is £1.63.
(b) Royal Navy personnelThe DMR in port is £1.78 (unless on duty watch, when at sea rates apply).
(c) RAF personnelThe DMR at home bases is £1.63.
No differentiation is made between non-commissioned personnel and others.
These apparently low amounts are achieved by the scale of purchase of the basket items and the associated economy of scale. Furthermore, DMR is the cost of the raw materials only and does not include transport or other costs.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the likely effects of an influenza pandemic on the operational capacity of the armed forces; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The MOD has developed a MOD Pandemic Flu Contingency Plan to capture all the activities which will need to be undertaken across Defence in the event of an influenza pandemic. Regular meetings of the MOD Pandemic Flu Contingency Planning Sub-Group ensure that the potential impact of any pandemic on operations is kept under constant review.
The precise characteristics and impact of an influenza pandemic will only become apparent as the virus emerges. The armed forces are as vulnerable as the rest of society, so the MODs level of preparedness is constantly evolving in line with operational requirements and cross-government (National) influenza contingency preparations.
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many representations his Department has received in the last 12 months from (a) members of the armed forces and (b) others on its preparations for a potential influenza pandemic; what the content of those representations was; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Murrison: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will place in the Library copies of the contingency plans for a potential influenza pandemic of (a) the Royal Navy, (b) the Army and (c) the Royal Air Force; on what dates each was (i) first published and (ii) last updated; and if he will make a statement. 
Derek Twigg: Yes, I have placed a copy of the latest version of the MOD Pandemic Flu Contingency Plan in the Library of the House. MOD Influenza pandemic planning is defence wide and began in October 2005.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will meet the Council of Mortgage Lenders to discuss the number of rejected mortgage applications from UK forces personnel posted overseas on the grounds of inability to provide a UK address. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: As I stated in my answer on 28 November 2007, Official Report, column 450W, if the hon. Member would wish to write to me with any details regarding the number of rejected mortgage applications, I would be content to consider meeting the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
Mrs. Humble: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what improvements have been made since 2002 in the provision of an effective supervisory regime in the Army training establishment; and what was the ratio between numbers of Officers, non-Commissioned Officers and recruits at (a) Deepcut, (b) Catterick barracks and (c) the 10 other largest Army training establishments in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: Since 2002 the key improvements that have been made have been designed to reduce the risk to the welfare and wellbeing of recruits and trainees. These include:
a revised Supervisory Care Policy that mandates that all commanding officers have a Supervisory Care Directive underpinned by a Commanders Risk Assessment;
the opening in June 2007 of the Army Recruiting and Training Division Staff Leadership School which is dedicated to instructor training;
improved training for instructors which, since October 2007, is accredited to meet the National Standard required of those delivering work based training in the Learning and Skills Sector;
improved care and management of those deemed to be at risk; and,
a revised Under 18 policy, which provides comprehensive guidance to commanding officers as to how the care of personnel under 18 is to be managed.
The statistical information requested is not held centrally, but is being collated. I will write to the hon. Member and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.
Dr. Fox: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 577W, on Bosnia: peacekeeping operations, if he will define the meaning of the phrase prejudice international relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union as it applies in the Answer. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth:
The release of the documents requested in the hon. Members previous question of 29 November 2007, Official Report, column 578W, would involve the disclosure of confidential information obtained from the European Union. This would prejudice relations between the United Kingdom and the European Union
as the effective conduct of the United Kingdoms international relations, and its ability to protect and promote its interests abroad, would be compromised if international organisations became concerned that the confidence within which they consider their exchanges with the United Kingdom to take place might not be respected.
Mrs. May: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) men and (b) women are employed by his Department, broken down by civil service grade. 
Derek Twigg: The information requested is shown in the table as follows:
|Civilian personnel( 1) by gender as at 1 October 2007|
|n/a = not available|
(1.)Data include permanent and casual personnel employed by the Department, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, Trading Funds and Locally engaged civilians.
(2.)The Senior Civil Service was formed in 1996. The totals include about 50 personnel outside the Senior Civil Service but of equivalent grade.
(3.)Gender data are not available for Royal Fleet Auxiliary personnel and Locally engaged civilian personnel.
(4.)All numbers are rounded to the nearest 10. Totals and sub-totals have been rounded separately and so may not equal the sum of their rounded parts
DASA (Quad Service)
Nick Harvey: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what (a) reviews, (b) consultations and (c) taskforces his Department (i) is responsible for and (ii) plans to establish; on what date each which is under way (A) started and (B) is expected to be completed; and what the purpose is of each. 
Derek Twigg: The Department keeps all its business processes and structures under regular review. As a result, a wide range of internal reviews and consultations is currently in hand, and there are established project and study teams to conduct these as appropriate. Information on these is not held centrally, and could be provided only at disproportionate cost.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence pursuant to the answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 479W, on departmental written questions, if he will change his policy on this matter in the light of the answer of 26 November 2007, Official Report, column 133W, on written questions. 
Derek Twigg [holding answer 5 December 2007]: The MOD has never provided this information and has no plans to change its policy. I have nothing further to add to my previous answer for the reasons I set out in my answer of 19 November 2007, Official Report, column 479W.
Dr. Julian Lewis: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence for what reason no Minister was present for the launching of HMS Diamond on 27 November 2007. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth [holding answer 5 December 2007]: Due to existing diary commitments and urgent parliamentary business that required ministerial representation in the House of Lords, no Minister from the Ministry of Defence (MOD) was available to attend the successful launch of the third Type 45 Destroyer, Diamond, on 27 November 2007. There was, however, senior representation at the event as the First Sea Lord, Admiral Sir Jonathan Band, was in attendance as the official representative of MOD Ministers.
Mark Pritchard: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what plans he has to provide military advisers to the Lebanese armed forces to improve their defence capabilities. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: We have worked with the Lebanese armed forces (LAF) to identify training needs and, where appropriate and possible, offer training assistance to improve their defence capabilities.
The MOD provides advice and training through military short term training teams (STTT) which consist of small numbers of subject matter experts deployed to fulfil niche training areas of LAF need.
In addition to the STTTs the UK also offers and pays for a variety of capacity building courses in the UK for LAF officers and senior non-commissioned officers. These courses focus on officer staff and command training.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) UK and (b) US personnel were employed at RAF Fylingdales in each year since 2002, broken down by employer. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 11 March 2003, Official Report, column 181W, and 14 June 2006, Official Report, column 1235W, to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker).
As of 3 December 2007 the figures for RAF Fylingdales were: one US military personnel; 13 US contractors; 79 RAF personnel; 162 UK contractors; 105 Ministry of Defence Police and Guarding Agency personnel and 37 UK civilian personnel work at the base.
The number of personnel who worked at RAF Fylingdales in 2002, 2004 and 2005 is not available in the format requested.
Mr. Moore: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how many (a) UK and (b) US personnel were employed at RAF Menwith Hill in each year since 2002, broken down by employer. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: I refer the hon. Member to the answers given on 30 June 2005, Official Report, column 1693W, and 14 June 2006, Official Report, column 1235W, to the hon. Member for Lewes (Norman Baker) and on 27 November 2007, Official Report, column 313W, to my hon. Friend the Member for Hemsworth (Jon Trickett).
The number of personnel employed at RAF Menwith Hill in 2002, 2003 and 2004 is not available in the format requested.
Mr. Hague: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which countries UK personnel are deployed under UN peacekeeping mandates; and how many personnel are deployed in each case. 
Mr. Bob Ainsworth: The following table details the countries where UK personnel are deployed on peacekeeping operations and political and peace-building missions conducted by the UN, and how many UK personnel are involved:
|(1)Political and peace-building missions|
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